Saturday, June 22, 2013

Altering a Kimono Sleeve

I was at Walmart and saw a nice blue dress on sale. It was $9, which is what I usually pay at goodwill. (My all time favorite place to shop!) The sleeves were a little weird, but I thought I could probably fix them. I was itching to sew something! Since sewing as a hobby seems to be getting more and more expensive, I jump at a chance to alter. The sleeves are basically kimono sleeves. I didn't like them for two reasons. First it made the dress look like pajamas. Second you could see too much skin when moving my arm. I brainstormed and finally decided to just gather the entire top two shoulders. This worked great! Then I sewed the bottom edge of the armholes.

Here's how I did it. Decide your seam allowance and how much you're going to hem in the process of gathering. (I hemmed one inch on the top.) Also remember the more fabric you take off at the top, the shorter the finished dress or shirt will be and the smaller the head hole. (I learned this the hard way and had to stitch rip my seam.)

#1.Turn the dress inside out and run two gathering threads on the top of each sleeve.

#2.Then pull the threads on either side of the seam. Gather as evenly as possible and as much as you want the length of the sleeve to be. Do this on both sleeves.

#3. Now sew a straight line right below your gathering threads. Make sure the gathers are flat.

#4. Trim the excess fabric and zig-zag stitch the edge.

This is what it should look like right side out.  

Because the dress was a little large on me, I stitched the armhole an inch on both sides. 

Have you altered anything? I'd love to hear your adventures!